Ewan Campbell, as I recall, went as far as to claim that the invasion by
the Dal Riata was a myth. But he was half right: it is true that there
was significant Irish involvement in the west of Scotland long before
the 6th century. The clearest evidence is that Ptolemy (2nd century)
tells us that the Argyll/Kintyre peninsula, and the island of Arran, was
controlled by a tribe known as the Epidii. Linguistically they can be
identified with the Eblani or (more correctly) Ebdani who lived,
according to Ptolemy, on the northern section of the east coast of
Ireland. According to early Irish literary sources, that part of
Ireland was controlled by the Cenél nEchach (kindred of Echu, or the
“horse-kindred”) which is the same name. In other words, the powerful
Irish dynasty whose spiritual capital was Tara held lands on the other
side of the water.
On 19/10/2015 14:35, PETTS D.A. wrote:
> yes- Ewan Campbell has hypothesized that a language similar to Irish Gaelic was spoken in Argyll (Dal Riata) before the alleged settlement by the Irish in the region in the 6th century - although I'd be cautious about linking change in material culture/settlement to change in language in an unproblematic way (particularly when the dating is so hazy and material culture so limited).
> For the rest of Scotland the place-name evidence seems to suggest that Pictish was a Brittonic language - although Bede at least distinguished it from British itself (and also from Irish Gaelic)